Martha Mitchell's Telephone


Martha Mitchell


Princess Phone


Compelled Veracity


Effects are Consumptive



Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection

6 October 1972 (identified)



Martha Mitchell (1918 - 1976) was an American socialite, political figure, and outspoken critic of the GOP. Married to John N. Mitchell, who was the Attorney General to President Richard Nixon and eventual head of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP), Martha was largely regarded as one of Washington D.C.'s most controversial figures in her day. Her frank and uncensored comments on the political climate in Washington earned her the the unfavorable reputation as "Martha the Mouth." She was usually characterized by her habit of drinking and calling up reporters late at night, dishing gossip.

However, she is perhaps most known for her part in the Watergate Scandal in 1972. As part of the cover-up, John N. Mitchell publicly denied any of the burglars' involvement with the CRP, despite the fact that they were all security officers there, and one, James W. McCord Jr., was also a former bodyguard to the Mitchells. Aware that this was exactly the type of thing his wife would expose, Mr. Mitchell hired FBI agent Steve King to keep Martha away from all newspapers and distracted from the news in LA while he ran damage control in DC. The attempt failed, however, and Martha correctly surmised that her husband was involved in a major cover-up, and attempted to contact her favorite reporter and friend, Helen Thomas. 

During the phone call, Martha was interrupted by King, who ripped the phone from the wall, and imprisoned her in her hotel room in California for four days. She attempted escape by climbing the outside of the hotel building, but was recaptured by King, restrained, and sedated. When she was eventually released and began to tell her story, Nixon initiated a smear campaign against her, accused her of being a drunk and delusional attention-monger, and hired psychologists to diagnose her as mentally unsound. Her story was discredited until 1975, when McCord confirmed her kidnapping and the presence of a smear campaign against her. The "Martha Mitchell Effect," or the misdiagnosis that someone telling the truth is delusional, is named after her mistreatment, and without her the truth of the Watergate Scandal may not have been exposed.


Imbued with Martha's core (and eventual desperate) desire to expose scandal, her princess telephone compels any who utilize it to spill secrets to the person on the other end. Unfortunately, the effect is largely consuming; users become so focused on convincing the person on the other end of line of the truthfulness of their secrets that they lose their ability to focus on anything else, or even move, until they are forced to pass out, wake up, and repeat.


Though officially bagged in 1972, this artifact was lost in the mail on the way to the Warehouse and never completely processed. This mistake was not noticed until months afterwards, as Henry Dreyfuss' Princess Phone, collected on the same day, was inadvertently thought to be both artifacts during processing due to their remarkably similar appearances. The lost package failed to turn up, and to this day remains part of the mystery of the Watergate Scandal for Warehouse officials.

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